Monami, Inov8 to channelise e-commerce payments – The News International

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Published by Jawwad Rizvi & Moayyed Jafri on The News International, October 09, 2015

LAHORE: Monami has announced to channelise e-commerce remittances and payments to Pakistan without any fee from consumers in a bid to document international transactions of overseas Pakistanis, especially in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

For this, Monami has partnered with Inov8, a Pakistani premier mobile commerce and payments provider to offer internet payment with its brand name ‘Cardwalla’.

Partnering with Inov8 provides Monami an opportunity to use the wide user base and e-commerce linkages already developed by it.

This is the first time that such a large portfolio of internet payments, including leading names such as Google Play Store, Apple App Store and iTunes, Skype, Netflix, PlayStation, Steam, Xbox Live, and World of Warcraft payments amongst more than 50 others, are being made available locally to Pakistani customers under the name ‘Cardwalla’.

Inov8’s AllPay platform is being used to make these payments available to Pakistani customers through all banking channels in Pakistan, including mobile banking, branchless banking, internet banking, ATM’s, POS, as well as bank and retail counters against cash.

The entrepreneurs who initiated this partnership, Inov8 President and Co-Founder Bashir A Sheikh, Monami Chairman Ammar Afif, and Monami Strategy and Operation Director Hyder Mumtaz in an exclusive discussion with The News on Thursday said that the size of the total internet payments of Pakistan was $60 million, while the experts of the sector forecast it to grow $500 million by 2017.

However, this forecast could be underestimated in the results of a recent study conducted by Inov8 when it was in the process of partnering with Monami.

“Invo8 gathered the information from Microsoft about the Xbox users in Pakistan – and it was surprising that $40 million worth Xbox annually come in Pakistan. These Xboxes are registered from Pakistan and are being used from here too,” Bashir A Sehikh said.

“This means that the Xbox price alone added $40 million to internet payments, which is almost 66 percent of the total existing size of internet payments of Pakistan,” he said.

Bashir pointed out that they were conducting more studies about internet payments made by Pakistanis for different products on various international websites with international credit cards, or through relatives and friends aboard as they could not buy the products themselves.

“Inov8 has been working to grow the mobile payments industry in Pakistan since 2004. Today, we have one of the largest offerings of products and services as well as one of the biggest client portfolios in the region,” Bashir disclosed.

Launching the Cardwalla service for internet payments through AllPay platform is in line with Invo8 vision to change the way payments are made today to bring ultimate convenience to the end consumer.

AllPay is an open aggregation platform available to all banks and retailers designed to allow consumers to make payments conveniently.

Estimates suggest a $60 million dollars e-commerce market size in Pakistan with the most internet payments being made informally.

“This number is expected to grow to $500 million by 2017, and with the Cardwalla service, we are providing a convenient means to pay through the formal channels,” Bashir said.

Monami Chairman Ammar Afif said that the company was a leading aggregator operating in North America and the region to offer Internet payments in Pakistan.

“Monami looked at the Pakistani market and found that consumers were lacking in comparison to others in similar markets in terms of product breadth and accessibility,” he said.

“Our partnership is enabling the Pakistani consumer to become a global consumer and access international products. This is the first phase of Monami’s roll out of a 100 percent free home remittance option for Pakistanis around the world.”

Afif said that Monami is a financial tech company that operates a Global Payment Hub and focuses on emerging markets.

By introducing unique technologies and products present in the developed economies, Monami aims to bridge the gap between western and eastern consumers.

“Apart from the CardWalla, Monami is launching a redemption channel for international digital wallets,” he said, adding that Monami is growing every month and entering new markets every quarter.

Hyder Mumtaz said that Pakistan’s M-Commerce sector was facing two major hurdles, logistic and payments solutions, which were impeding robust growth.

For payment solutions, Invo8 and Monami have partnered.

Down the line in one year or so the partnered companies plan to bring up some local payments solutions too, he said.

On the logistics side, buyers face many problems, including timely delivery. Once the payment solution system is developed, local companies will also come forward for a good delivery system to ensure timely delivery of products to buyers. “The logistic system will also develop parallel in the eco-system of m-commerce,” he said.

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